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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced that a National Parent Teachers Association will be launched in July of this year, to provide the right channel for meaningful intervention for parents who are in need of assistance in coping with their children. She was speaking on Wednesday (May 24) at the presentation of awards ceremony for the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education which was held at Jamaica House.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said that while teachers are oftentimes blamed for negative behaviour among students, parents should realize that they have a responsibility to their children. She said the National Parent Teachers Association would provide help for parents in cases where the situation is deemed outside of their control or where students show deficiencies in academics or their behaviour.
She also called on service clubs, non-governmental organizations and the relevant agencies of government to conduct more parenting seminars and provide more help for parents who face particular challenges.
The Prime Minister said the 31 teachers who were honoured on Wednesday had made an indelible mark on the minds of their students and the foundation of the country’s education system. She said the time had come for the country to build on that foundation and make the necessary quality improvements in the system.
“That is why the government through the Ministry of Education and Youth is earnestly pursuing the education transformation process.in order to realize quality improvement, the Prime Minister asserted.
She said special focus was also being given to Early Childhood Education to ensure that children get the right start, and that deficiencies are identified and corrected early in the process.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said that in addition to addressing the physical conditions under which teachers are expected to perform and in which students must learn, provision must also be made for the training of teachers. She said the upgrading of the qualification of teachers to bring more of them to the degree level, was but one of the new initiatives being considered in teacher education.
The awardees of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation in Education have given 450 years of combined service to education. They were recognized for their significant contribution to education and the development of Jamaica. Awardees included Dr. Polly Bowes-Howell, Mrs. Adelle Brown, Mr. Clement Radcliffe, Mrs. Judith Spencer-Jarrett and Miss Shirley Whylie.